Mayoral Column 24 April 2017

Published on 24 April 2017

Remembering our heroes

It is pleasing to see we have a large number of Anzac Day ceremonies happening across Loddon Shire again this year.

The communities of Boort, Bridgewater, Inglewood, Korong Vale, Calivil, Pyramid Hill, Newbridge, Mologa and Wedderburn are holding their local ceremonies, with some starting as early as 6am and many finishing with a breakfast or barbecue.

To view the Anzac Day ceremony list and times, visit Council’s website, www.loddon.vic.gov.au.

Anzac Day commemorates the lives of Australians who died in all the military and peacekeeping operations in which Australia has been involved, and this is just as relevant today as it ever has been in our history.

Lest we forget.

Removal of native vegetation

I think most of us understand that native vegetation is important for the amenity and environmental quality of our Shire.

We have been hearing concerns from residents about the clearing of native vegetation that they consider may be inappropriate.

Controls for native vegetation clearance are in place in Victoria to protect biodiversity and manage such issues as salinity, erosion and water quality, and Council is required to enforce these controls.

Council staff have observed native vegetation clearance activities on farms and on Council road reserves, and are presently investigating a number of vegetation clearances. Any breaches will be subject to prosecution.

Please remember that planning approval is required to remove native vegetation. This includes grasses, shrubs and trees (including some dead trees), and can apply to the lopping of limbs as well as complete removal of the tree.

There are exemptions from the need for a planning permit for some activities, however exemptions do not apply in all areas, and there are limitations and conditions that apply.

Also, if you remove vegetation on road reserves, you will need to first obtain consent from Council to ensure the removal will not impact on infrastructure or road safety.

Prior to any removal of native vegetation, it is best to contact Council on 5494 1200 to discuss your proposal so that you can be sure you are complying with the relevant legislation.

New help for building dispute matters

From 26 April, builders and building owners will have easier access to free, fair and fast dispute resolution services.

Domestic Building Dispute Resolution Victoria is a free government service that helps resolve domestic building disputes.

It can help with a range of matters such as defective or incomplete building work, delays to building work, issues with payment, or other matters arising from a domestic building contract.

If you are a builder, building owner, architect or sub-contractor, you may be eligible to use the dispute resolution services on offer.

Victorians who have a domestic building dispute can visit www.dbdrv.vic.gov.au and use an online application form.

A Dispute Resolution Officer will be assigned to your dispute and will contact the parties within 5 business days to assess whether it is suitable for conciliation and advise how to prepare for a conciliation meeting.

VCAT will not accept an application for dispute unless it has first been assessed by Domestic Building Dispute Resolution Victoria and a certificate of conciliation has been issued.